FASTEST RELAY LEG OF ALL TIME WON'T COUNT
Yet again Pieter vdHoogenband (NED) stole the show. Unfortunately, part of it was stolen right back. After winning his semi-final heat in the 50 free in a new European meet record and beating Alexander Popov (RUS) yet again, vdHoogenband anchored the Dutch 4x200 free relay in a 1:45.20. But because of the no false start rule now in effect, the Netherlands was DQ'ed for jumping the gun at the start of the race. The rule means that swimmers are DQ'ed after the completion of the race, rather than calling the swimmers back to start again.
So the Dutch will have to wait one more year for their first international win, and if they can drop their time by a few more seconds they'll have the world record too. Most likely the Aussies will break it by a lot more, but just ask the Dutch, nothing is a sure thing.
Italy was DQ'ed too-their mistake was made on the first takeover. That put Germany in first and moved GBR and RUS onto the medal podium.
In the women's 200 free, Camelia Potec won with a 1:58.79, 0.08 under her best from the lead out leg of the Romanian 4x200 free relay.
In the men's 200 back Ralf Braun (GER) won and Gordan Kozulj (CRO) got his second silver of the meet.
Agnes Kovacs (HUN) completed the triple by winning the 200 breast. She was more than two seconds over her winning time from '97, but was still smiling all the same. She was on world record pace till the 150, falling off Penny Heyns (RSA) pending world record set in early July in Los Angeles.
Beatrice Caslaru (ROM) won her seventh European silver medal. She has four from '91, and now three from Istanbul.
The men's 100 fly final was quick, and Lars Frolander (SWE) was the quickest. His time of 52.61 was a best time and good enough to move him up to fifth on the all time list. James Hickman (GBR) was second and one tenth over his best.
In other semi-final action, Inge de Bruijn (NED) broke the 50 free European record with a 24. 84 while Sandra Volker (GER) broke the European meet record in the 50 back with a 29.31, half a second over her pending world record set in Monaco.